The First Book of Kings (1 Samuel)
by William C. Michael
Study the life of David in the Classical Liberal Arts Academy’s Sacred Scripture II course.
This and the following Book are called by the Hebrews the books of Samuel, because they contain the history of Samuel, and of the two kings, Saul and David, whom he anointed. They are more commonly named by the Fathers, the first and second book of kings. As to the writer of them, it is the common opinion that Samuel composed the first book, as far as the twenty-fifth chapter; and that the prophets Nathan and Gad finished the first, and wrote the second book. See 1 Paralipomenon, alias 1 Chronicles, 29.29.
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Table of contents- 1 Kings Chapter 1
- 1 Kings Chapter 2
- 1 Kings Chapter 3
- 1 Kings Chapter 4
- 1 Kings Chapter 5
- 1 Kings Chapter 6
- 1 Kings Chapter 7
- 1 Kings Chapter 8
- 1 Kings Chapter 9
- 1 Kings Chapter 10
- 1 Kings Chapter 11
- 1 Kings Chapter 12
- 1 Kings Chapter 13
- 1 Kings Chapter 14
- 1 Kings Chapter 15
- 1 Kings Chapter 16
- 1 Kings Chapter 17
- 1 Kings Chapter 18
- 1 Kings Chapter 19
- 1 Kings Chapter 20
- 1 Kings Chapter 21
- 1 Kings Chapter 22
- 1 Kings Chapter 23
- 1 Kings Chapter 24
- 1 Kings Chapter 25
- 1 Kings Chapter 26
- 1 Kings Chapter 27
- 1 Kings Chapter 28
- 1 Kings Chapter 29
- 1 Kings Chapter 30
- 1 Kings Chapter 31
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1 Kings Chapter 1
Anna the wife of Elcana being barren, by vow and prayer obtaineth a son: whom she calleth Samuel: and presenteth him to the service of God in Silo, according to her vow:
1:1. There was a man of Ramathaimsophim, of Mount Ephraim, and his name was Elcana, the son of Jeroham, the son of Eliu, the son of Thohu, the son of Suph, an Ephraimite:
1:2. And he had two wives, the name of one was Anna, and the name of the other Phenenna. Phenenna had children: but Anna had no children.
1:3. And this man went up out of his city upon the appointed days, to adore and to offer sacrifice to the Lord of hosts in Silo. And the two sons of Heli, Ophni and Phinees, were there priests of the Lord.
1:4. Now the day came, and Elcana offered sacrifice, and gave to Phenenna, his wife, and to all her sons and daughters, portions:
1:5. But to Anna he gave one portion with sorrow, because he loved Anna. And the Lord had shut up her womb.
1:6. Her rival also afflicted her, and troubled her exceedingly, insomuch that she upbraided her, that the Lord had shut up her womb:
1:7. And thus she did every year, when the time returned, that they went up to the temple of the Lord: and thus she provoked her: but Anna wept, and did not eat.
1:8. Then Elcana, her husband, said to her: Anna, why weepest thou? and why dost thou not eat? and why dost thou afflict thy heart? Am not I better to thee than ten children?
1:9. So Anna arose after she had eaten and drunk in Silo: And Heli, the priest, sitting upon a stool before the door of the temple of the Lord;
1:10. As Anna had her heart full of grief, she prayed to the Lord, shedding many tears,
1:11. And she made a vow, saying: O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt look down, and wilt be mindful of me, and not forget thy handmaid, and wilt give to thy servant a manchild: I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.
1:12. And it came to pass, as she multiplied prayers before the Lord, that Heli observed her mouth.
1:13. Now Anna spoke in her heart, and only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard at all. Heli therefore thought her to be drunk,
1:14. And said to her: How long wilt thou be drunk? digest a little the wine, of which thou hast taken too much.
1:15. Anna answering, said: Not so, my lord: for I am an exceeding unhappy woman, and have drunk neither wine nor any strong drink, but I have poured out my soul before the Lord.
1:16. Count not thy handmaid for one of the daughters of Belial: for out of the abundance of my sorrow and grief have I spoken till now.
1:17. Then Heli said to her: Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition, which thou hast asked of him.
1:18. And she said: Would to God thy handmaid may find grace in thy eyes. So the woman went on her way, and ate, and her countenance was no more changed.
1:19. And they rose in the morning, and worshipped before the Lord: and they returned, and came into their house at Ramatha. And Elcana knew Anna his wife: And the Lord remembered her.
1:20. And it came to pass when the time was come about, Anna conceived and bore a son, and called his name Samuel: because she had asked him of the Lord.
1:21. And Elcana, her husband, went up, and all his house, to offer to the Lord the solemn sacrifice, and his vow.
1:22. But Anna went not up: for she said to her husband: I will not go till the child be weaned, and till I may carry him, that he may appear before the Lord, and may abide always there.
1:23. And Elcana, her husband, said to her: Do what seemeth good to thee, and stay till thou wean him: and I pray that the Lord may fulfil his word. So the woman staid at home, and gave her son suck, till she weaned him.
1:24. And after she had weaned him, she carried him with her, with three calves, and three bushels of flour, and a bottle of wine, and she brought him to the house of the Lord in Silo. Now the child was as yet very young:
1:25. And they immolated a calf, and offered the child to Heli.
1:26. And Anna said: I beseech thee, my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord: I am that woman, who stood before thee here praying to the Lord.
1:27. For this child did I pray, and the Lord hath granted me my petition, which I asked of him.
1:28. Therefore I also have lent him to the Lord all the days of his life, he shall be lent to the Lord. And they adored the Lord there. And Anna prayed, and said:
1 Kings Chapter 2
The canticle of Anna. The wickedness of the sons of Heli: for which they are not duly corrected by their father. A prophecy against the house of Heli.
2:1. My heart hath rejoiced in the Lord, and my horn is exalted in my God: my mouth is enlarged over my enemies: because I have joyed in thy salvation.
2:2. There is none holy as the Lord is: for there is no other beside thee, and there is none strong like our God.
2:3. Do not multiply to speak lofty things, boasting: let old matters depart from your mouth: for the Lord is a God of all knowledge, and to him are thoughts prepared.
2:4. The bow of the mighty is overcome, and the weak are girt with strength.
2:5. They that were full before, have hired out themselves for bread: and the hungry are filled, so that the barren hath borne many: and she that had many children is weakened.
2:6. The Lord killeth and maketh alive, he bringeth down to hell, and bringeth back again.
2:7. The Lord maketh poor and maketh rich, he humbleth and he exalteth:
2:8. He raiseth up the needy from the dust, and lifteth up the poor from the dunghill: that he may sit with princes, and hold the throne of glory. For the poles of the earth are the Lord’s, and upon them he hath set the world.
2:9. He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; because no man shall prevail by his own strength.
2:10. The adversaries of the Lord shall fear him: and upon them shall he thunder in the heavens: The Lord shall judge the ends of the earth, and he shall give empire to his king, and shall exalt the horn of his Christ.
2:11. And Elcana went to Ramatha, to his house: but the child ministered in the sight of the Lord before the face of Heli the priest.
2:12. Now the sons of Heli were children of Belial, not knowing the Lord,
2:13. Nor the office of the priests to the people: but whosoever had offered a sacrifice, the servant of the priest came, while the flesh was in boiling, with a fleshhook of three teeth in his hand,
2:14. And thrust it into the kettle, or into the cauldron, or into the pot, or into the pan: and all that the fleshhook brought up, the priest took to himself. Thus did they to all Israel that came to Silo.
2:15. Also before they burnt the fat, the servant of the priest came, and said to the man that sacrificed: Give me flesh to boil for the priest: for I will not take of thee sodden flesh, but raw.
2:16. And he that sacrificed said to him: Let the fat first be burnt to day, according to the custom, and then take to thee as much as thy soul desireth. But he answered, and said to him: Not so: but thou shalt give it me now, or else I will take it by force.
2:17. Wherefore the sin of the young men was exceeding great before the Lord: because they withdrew men from the sacrifice of the Lord.
2:18. But Samuel ministered before the face of the Lord: being a child girded with a linen ephod.
2:19. And his mother made him a little coat, which she brought to him on the appointed days, when she went up with her husband, to offer the solemn sacrifice.
2:20. And Heli blessed Elcana and his wife: and he said to him: The Lord give thee seed of this woman, for the loan thou hast lent to the Lord. And they went to their own home.
2:21. And the Lord visited Anna, and she conceived, and bore three sons, and two daughters: and the child Samuel became great before the Lord.
2:22. Now Heli was very old, and he heard all that his sons did to all Israel: and how they lay with the women that waited at the door of the tabernacle:
2:23. And he said to them: Why do ye these kinds of things, which I hear, very wicked things, from all the people?
2:24. Do not so, my sons: for it is no good report that I hear, that you make the people of the Lord to transgress.
2:25. If one man shall sin against another, God may be appeased in his behalf: but if a man shall sin against the Lord, who shall pray for him? And they hearkened not to the voice of their father, because the Lord would slay them.
2:26. But the child Samuel advanced, and grew on, and pleased both the Lord and men.
2:27. And there came a man of God to Heli, and said to him: Thus saith the Lord: Did I not plainly appear to thy father’s house, when they were in Egypt in the house of Pharao?
2:28. And I chose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, and burn incense to me, and to wear the ephod before me: and I gave to thy father’s house of all the sacrifices of the children of Israel.
2:29. Why have you kicked away my victims, and my gifts which I commanded to be offered in the temple: and thou hast rather honoured thy sons than me, to eat the firstfruits of every sacrifice of my people Israel?
2:30. Wherefore thus saith the Lord the God of Israel: I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should minister in my sight, for ever. But now saith the Lord: Far be this from me: but whosoever shall glorify me, him will I glorify: but they that despise me, shall be despised.
2:31. Behold the days come: and I will cut off thy arm, and the arm of thy father’s house, that there shall not be an old man in thy house.
2:32. And thou shalt see thy rival in the temple, in all the prosperity of Israel, and there shall not be an old man in thy house for ever.
2:33. However, I will not altogether take away a man of thee from my altar: but that thy eyes may faint, and thy soul be spent: and a great part of thy house shall die, when they come to man’s estate.
2:34. And this shall be a sign to thee, that shall come upon thy two sons, Ophni and Phinees: in one day they shall both of them die.
2:35. And I will raise me up a faithful priest, who shall do according to my heart, and my soul and I will build him a faithful house, and he shall walk all days before my anointed.
2:36. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall remain in thy house shall come that he may be prayed for, and shall offer a piece of silver, and a roll of bread, and shall say: Put me, I beseech thee, to somewhat of the priestly office, that I may eat a morsel of bread.
1 Kings Chapter 3
Samuel is four times called by the Lord: who revealeth to him the evil that shall fall on Heli, and his house.
3:1. Now the child Samuel ministered to the Lord before Heli, and the word of the Lord was precious in those days, there was no manifest vision.
Precious… That is, rare.
3:2. And it came to pass one day when Heli lay in his place, and his eyes were grown dim, that he could not see:
3:3. Before the lamp of God went out, Samuel slept in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was.
3:4. And the Lord called Samuel. And he answered: Here am I.
3:5. And he ran to Heli, and said: Here am I: for thou didst call me. He said: I did not call: go back and sleep. And he went and slept.
3:6. And the Lord called Samuel again. And Samuel arose and went to Heli, and said: Here am I: for thou calledst me. He answered: I did not call thee, my son: return and sleep.
3:7. Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, neither had the word of the Lord been revealed to him.
3:8. And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. And he arose up and went to Heli,
3:9. And said: Here am I: for thou didst call me. Then Heli understood that the Lord called the child, and he said to Samuel: Go, and sleep: and if he shall call thee any more, thou shalt say: Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went, and slept in his place.
3:10. And the Lord came, and stood, and he called, as he had called the other times, Samuel, Samuel. And Samuel said: Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth.
3:11. And the Lord said to Samuel: Behold I do a thing in Israel: and whosoever shall hear it, both his ears shall tingle.
3:12. In that day I will raise up against Heli all the things I have spoken concerning his house: I will begin, and I will make an end.
3:13. For I have foretold unto him, that I will judge his house for ever, for iniquity, because he knew that his sons did wickedly, and did not chastise them.
3:14. Therefore have I sworn to the house of Heli, that the iniquity of his house shall not be expiated with victims nor offerings for ever.
3:15. And Samuel slept till morning, and opened the doors of the house of the Lord. And Samuel feared to tell the vision to Heli.
3:16. Then Heli called Samuel, and said: Samuel, my son. And he answered: Here am I.
3:17. And he asked him: What is the word that the Lord hath spoken to thee? I beseech thee hide it not from me. May God do so and so to thee, and add so and so, if thou hide from me one word of all that were said to thee.
3:18. So Samuel told him all the words, and did not hide them from him. And he answered: It is the Lord: let him do what is good in his sight.
3:19. And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him, and not one of his words fell to the ground.
3:20. And all Israel, from Dan to Bersabee, knew that Samuel was a faithful prophet of the Lord.
3:21. And the Lord again appeared in Silo, for the Lord revealed himself to Samuel in Silo, according to the word of the Lord. And the word of Samuel came to pass to all Israel.
1 Kings Chapter 4
The Israelites being overcome by the Philistines, send for the ark of God: but they are beaten again, the sons of Heli are killed, and the ark taken: upon the hearing of the news Heli falleth backward and dieth.
4:1. And it came to pass in those days, that the Philistines gathered themselves together to fight: and Israel went out to war against the Philistines, and camped by the Stone of help. And the Philistines came to Aphec,
4:2. And put their army in array against Israel. And when they had joined battle, Israel turned their backs to the Philistines: and there were slain in that fight, here and there in the fields, about four thousand men.
4:3. And the people returned to the camp: and the ancients of Israel said: Why hath the Lord defeated us to day before the Philistines? Let us fetch unto us the ark of the covenant of the Lord from Silo, and let it come in the midst of us, that it may save us from the hand of our enemies.
4:4. So the people sent to Silo, and they brought from thence the ark of the covenant of the Lord of hosts, sitting upon the cherubims: and the two sons of Heli, Ophni and Phinees, were with the ark of the covenant of God.
4:5. And when the ark of the covenant of the Lord was come into the camp, all Israel shouted with a great shout, and the earth rang again.
4:6. And the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, and they said: What is this noise of a great shout in the camp of the Hebrews? And they understood that the ark of the Lord was come into the camp.
4:7. And the Philistines were afraid, saying: God is come into the camp. And sighing, they said:
4:8. Woe to us: for there was no such great joy yesterday, and the day before: Woe to us. Who shall deliver us from the hand of these high Gods? these are the Gods that struck Egypt with all the plagues in the desert.
4:9. Take courage, and behave like men, ye Philistines: lest you come to be servants to the Hebrews, as they have served you: take courage and fight.
4:10. So the Philistines fought, and Israel was overthrown, and every man fled to his own dwelling: and there was an exceeding great slaughter; for there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen.
4:11. And the ark of God was taken: and the two sons of Heli, Ophni and Phinees, were slain.
4:12. And there ran a man of Benjamin out of the army, and came to Silo the same day, with his clothes rent, and his head strewed with dust.
4:13. And when he was come, Heli sat upon a stool over against the way, watching. For his heart was fearful for the ark of God. And when the man was come into the city, he told it: and all the city cried out.
4:14. And Heli heard the noise of the cry, and he said: What meaneth the noise of this uproar? But he made haste, and came, and told Heli.
4:15. Now Heli was ninety and eight years old, and his eyes were dim, and he could not see.
4:16. And he said to Heli: I am he that came from the battle, and have fled out of the field this day. And he said to him: What is there done, my son?
4:17. And he that brought the news answered, and said: Israel is fled before the Philistines, and there has been a great slaughter of the people: moreover thy two sons, Ophni and Phinees, are dead: and the ark of God is taken.
4:18. And when he had named the ark of God, he fell from his stool backwards by the door, and broke his neck and died. For he was an old man, and far advanced in years: And he judged Israel forty years.
4:19. And his daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinees, was big with child, and near her time: and hearing the news that the ark of God was taken, and her father-in-law, and her husband, were dead, she bowed herself and fell in labour: for her pains came upon her on a sudden.
4:20. And when she was upon the point of death, they that stood about her said to her: Fear not, for thou hast borne a son. She answered them not, nor gave heed to them.
4:21. And she called the child Ichabod, saying: The glory is gone from Israel, because the ark of God was taken, and for her father-in-law, and for her husband:
4:22. And she said: The glory is departed from Israel, because the ark of God was taken.
1 Kings Chapter 5
Dagon twice falleth down before the ark. The Philistines are grievously afflicted, wherever the ark cometh.
5:1. And the Philistines took the ark of God, and carried it from the Stone of help into Azotus.
5:2. And the Philistines took the ark of God, and brought it into the temple of Dagon, and set it by Dagon.
5:3. And when the Azotians arose early the next day, behold Dagon lay upon his face on the ground before the ark of the Lord: and they took Dagon, and set him again in his place.
5:4. And the next day again, when they rose in the morning, they found Dagon lying upon his face on the earth before the ark of the Lord: and the head of Dagon, and both the palms of his hands, were cut off upon the threshold:
5:5. And only the stump of Dagon remained in its place.